Nevada operates under a “fault” car accident system, which dictates the rules surrounding auto insurance and who pays for the damage resulting from car accidents. In fault-based states, the court decides which driver is at fault in causing the accident. This driver is responsible for the damages caused by the accident. The injured driver involved in the accident has several options in addressing their damages:
- Insurance: The injured driver can file a claim with their own insurance company. This option is valid for those who possess comprehensive coverage that pays for all injuries associated with the accident.
- Third-party Claim: The injured driver can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This would require the insurance company to compensate the injured driver’s damages.
- Personal Injury Claim: The injured driver can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. This takes the accident to the local civil court system without involving the insurance company of either driver.
Nevada’s Fault-Based Insurance Requirements
Nevada requires all registered drivers to possess minimum liability coverage in the case of an at-fault accident. Liability coverage pays for the medical bills and property damage of the not at-fault driver. This coverage also pays for injuries sustained by other passengers in the vehicle – not just the driver. Your liability insurance applies to any individual that you permit to drive your insured car. It also follows you if you rent a car and require liability coverage in that context. Drivers must choose from one of three coverage options:
- $20,000 to cover property damage in at-fault accidents AND
- $25,000 to cover injury or death in at-fault accidents, OR
- $50,000 to cover total injury or death liability in at-fault accidents
In severe accidents, liability coverage may not be enough to cover all damages caused by an accident. Several options for additional coverage are available to address these emergencies.
- Collision coverage pays for damage resulting from car collisions. This type of coverage applies to the insured driver no matter their fault status, either directly paying for damage repair or providing compensation to cover losses.
- Comprehensive coverage protects against car damage caused by anything other than collisions. This includes theft, vandalism, or other unexpected accidents not directly caused by a collision.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects a driver against uninsured or underinsured, at-fault drivers. This type of coverage pays for the medical bills of all passengers in the car.
- Medpay, or medical payments, is coverage that pays for medical bills regardless of fault status. It also covers pedestrians that are involved in collisions.
Factors That Impact the Cost of Insurance
The cost of your insurance plan is determined by several different factors.
- Driving History – Your driving record and any history of driving-related claims you’ve submitted in the past impact insurance coverage.
- Life Details – Life details include factors like age, marital status, geographic location, and even your credit score.
- Car Details – Your car’s make and model also play a role in insurance coverage.
- Deductible – The deductible payment you choose impacts your insurance rate. Typically, a lower deductible causes a higher monthly rate. This is because the insurance company assumes more responsibility for accidents when they do occur.
Penalties for Being Uninsured
Nevada is strict in their requirement for all registered drivers to retain insurance. Lapses in car insurance typically result in registration suspension, which costs $251 to reinstate. Nevada follows a system of fees associated with insurance lapses dependent on how long the lapse has lasted and whether the driver has neglected their car insurance before. Repeat offenses increase the original $251 fine by an additional $250 each time they occur within a five-year span. For example, a second offense results in a $501 fine, and a third offense results in a $751 fine.
Nevada car insurance policy is strict, but this ensures that all registered drivers are covered in the case of an accident. At-fault or not, the state of Nevada provides several coverage options for their drivers, even in terms of additional protection that covers emergency situations that basic insurance cannot pay for on its own.
If you were involved in a car accident and you are unsure about your options, contact a Las Vegas accident attorney near you for a free case evaluation.